How Long Does it Take to Replace a Window? Homeowners Guide

Replacing a window may be more straightforward than you think.

window being replaced

As a homeowner, you may find yourself wondering just how long it takes to replace a window. Whether you’re looking to improve energy efficiency, enhance curb appeal, or address damage, understanding the window replacement process can help you plan accordingly. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the factors that affect the time it takes to replace a window, the step-by-step process involved, and additional considerations to keep in mind. Let’s dive in!

Quick Answer

On average, the process of replacing a window takes about 2 to 4 hours. However, this duration can vary depending on the type and size of the window, the condition of your existing window frame, and whether any adjustments need to be made during installation. Please note that this is an estimated time for a single window replacement; multiple windows will naturally take a longer time.

Table of Contents

Factors Affecting Replacement Time

Several factors can influence the time it takes to replace a window. These include:

  • The type of window being replaced
  • The complexity of the installation
  • The number of windows to be replaced

Jump Frame versus Full Frame Installation

Jump frame and full frame installations are two distinct approaches to window replacement, each with its unique advantages and considerations.

Jump Frame Installation:

Definition: This method involves removing the sash and the frame parts that hold the sash. The exterior and interior trim are typically left in place.


Time Efficiency: Less labor-intensive and quicker since it involves less structural alteration.

Cost-Effective: Generally more cost-effective due to reduced labor and material requirements.

Preservation: Ideal for preserving existing trim and historical features of a home.


Size Limitation: The new window size is limited to the existing frame dimensions.

Insulation and Sealing: May provide less opportunity for improving insulation and sealing, as parts of the old frame remain in place.

Full Frame Installation:

Definition: This method involves completely removing the old window down to the rough opening, including the frame and trim.


Customization: Allows for size and style customization as the entire window unit is replaced.

Better Insulation: Offers the opportunity to improve insulation and sealing, enhancing energy efficiency.

Comprehensive Solution: Ideal for addressing significant decay or damage in the existing frame.


Time and Labor Intensive: More complex and time-consuming, requiring more extensive work.

Higher Cost: Generally more expensive due to increased labor and materials.

Impact on Interior and Exterior: May affect both interior and exterior aesthetics as trims are replaced.

In summary, the choice between jump frame and full frame installation depends on various factors, including the condition of the existing windows, the desired outcome, budget constraints, and the architectural considerations of the building. It’s crucial to weigh these factors to decide which method best suits your specific window replacement needs.

The Window Replacement Process

The window replacement process typically involves several key steps, including preparation, removal of the old window, installation of the new window, and finishing touches. Although the specific details may vary depending on the type of window and the complexity of the installation, understanding these general steps can give you a better idea of what to expect.

Replacing windows in a home typically involves the following steps:

  1. Assessment and Measurement: Before purchasing new windows, it’s crucial to measure the existing window openings accurately. This ensures that the new windows will fit properly.
  2. Choosing New Windows: Select new windows based on factors such as material (wood, vinyl, aluminum), glass type (single, double, or triple-pane), style (casement, double-hung, sliding), and energy efficiency ratings.
  3. Removal of Old Windows: Carefully remove the old windows to avoid damage to the surrounding wall and frame. This involves taking out the window sashes, frames, and sometimes part of the interior or exterior trim.
  4. Preparation of the Opening: Clean and repair the window opening if necessary. It might involve fixing any damage to the window frame or adjusting the size of the opening for a perfect fit.
  5. Installation of New Windows: Place the new window in the opening, ensuring it is level and centered. Secure it in place with screws or nails, and check that it operates correctly.
  6. Insulating and Sealing: Apply insulation around the window frame to prevent drafts. Then seal the edges with caulking to ensure airtightness and water resistance.
  7. Finishing Touches: Replace any trim or molding that was removed during the installation process, and finish with paint or stain as desired.
  8. Cleanup and Disposal: Clean up the work area and dispose of the old windows and any debris responsibly.

Is Window Replacement Worth It?

To emphasize the importance of window replacement, we’ll explore a case study highlighting the benefits of replacing windows. From improved energy efficiency to enhanced comfort and aesthetics, replacing old or damaged windows can have a significant impact on your home.

In this real-world example, we’ll explore the energy efficiency and thermal comfort improvements achieved by replacing outdated windows with new ones. This analysis offers valuable insights for those considering window replacements, highlighting the potential energy cost savings.

Winter temperature level graph
The graph presents the average temperature of a client’s living room before window replacement, despite the thermostat being set to 72 degrees. There are several potential reasons for this temperature discrepancy.

Firstly, old, drafty windows can contribute to a significant amount of heat loss. This is especially true for single-pane windows, which are highly inefficient at retaining heat compared to double-pane or triple-pane windows.

Secondly, old windows that are not properly sealed or have lost their seal can allow cold air to infiltrate the living room, causing the indoor temperature to fall below the thermostat set point.
winter temperature graph new windows
The graph illustrates the consistent temperature in a client’s living room after window replacement, with the thermostat set to 72 degrees. The steady 71-72 degree range can be attributed to several key factors.

Firstly, new windows, particularly double-pane ones, are significantly more efficient at maintaining temperature compared to their outdated counterparts. They are designed to reduce heat loss, enabling a more efficient use of energy.

Secondly, modern windows come with improved sealing technologies. This means they are better at preventing cold air from entering the room, ensuring that the indoor temperature remains constant around the thermostat’s set point.

The installation of new windows thus plays a pivotal role in maintaining a comfortable and steady indoor environment.

Should I Get All Windows Replaced at Once?

One common question homeowners have is whether they should replace all windows at once or tackle them individually. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of both approaches, allowing you to make an informed decision based on your specific needs and budget.

Replacing all windows at once may seem like a hefty investment, but it can offer several benefits in the long run. By replacing all windows at once, you’ll ensure uniformity in terms of style and energy efficiency throughout your home. It also allows for easier installation and potentially cost savings if you negotiate a package deal with your contractor.

On the other hand, replacing windows individually can be a more budget-friendly option, allowing you to spread out the cost over time. It also allows for more flexibility in terms of scheduling and prioritizing windows based on urgency. However, this approach may result in mismatched styles and energy efficiency levels throughout your home.

Ultimately, the decision between replacing all windows at once or individually depends on your personal preferences and circumstances. For more info, read our blog “Should I replace all windows at once, or individually?”

Seasonal Considerations for Window Replacement

Timing is key when it comes to window replacement. We’ll explore the best time to replace windows and discuss how weather conditions can impact the installation process. By considering seasonal factors, you can ensure a smoother and more efficient window replacement experience.

When considering the best season for window replacement, each season comes with its own set of advantages and challenges.

  • Spring: Spring offers warm weather, which makes it a convenient time for window installation. The milder temperatures can help keep energy bills low, as your house will be open to the outdoors during the installation process. However, spring is also a popular time for window replacement, so you might face competition for window installers​​. – Source
  • Summer: Late spring to early summer is ideal for replacing multiple windows. The weather is warm but not excessively hot, helping to prevent cold drafts from entering your home during the project​​.
  • Fall and Winter: While these seasons might seem less ideal due to colder temperatures, they can still be suitable for window replacements. Modern installation techniques and materials can handle colder conditions, though extremely low temperatures can present challenges. If a window is broken or cracked, waiting for warmer weather might not be an option, and fortunately, replacements can still be effectively carried out in colder months​​​​. However, it’s important to note that when temperatures dip below a certain threshold, it can become nearly impossible to install windows or doors effectively​​.

Cost of Window Replacement

The cost of replacement windows varies widely based on factors like window type, material, style, and customization. Here’s an overview of the estimated price range for various types of replacement windows:

  1. Basic Vinyl Windows: These are often the most affordable option. Prices can start at less than $375 per window.
  2. Standard Windows: On average, replacement windows cost between $375 and $800 per window. This would typically include standard materials and styles.
  3. High-End Wood Windows: For more premium materials like high-quality wood, prices can go as high as $1,275 per window.
  4. Average Cost Range: Most replacement windows fall within a price range of $234 to $1,224, with the average cost being closer to $729 per window.
  5. Overall Project Cost: For a complete project, such as replacing all the windows in a typical home, the national average price can range from $6,600 to $15,500. This estimate is influenced by the number of windows and local labor costs.
  6. Specific Scenarios: Replacing old windows in a 10-window house with new vinyl double-hung, low-E (high efficiency) units can cost between $3,500 and $10,500 on average.

It’s important to note that these prices can fluctuate based on location, the complexity of the installation, and any additional features like energy-efficient coatings or custom designs. For a more accurate estimate tailored to your specific needs and location, it’s recommended to consult with window replacement professionals or use online cost calculators​


Replacing a window is a significant investment that can enhance your home’s value, energy efficiency, and overall comfort. By following the step-by-step guide and considering the factors discussed in this article, you can better understand the window replacement process and estimate the time required for your specific project. Contact us at Utah Window Experts for a free quote!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to replace a single window?

The time required to replace a single window can vary depending on factors such as the size and complexity of the installation. Generally, it can take a few hours to complete the replacement process.

Can you replace a window in a day?

Yes, it is often possible to replace a window within a day. However, the exact duration can depend on various factors, including the type and size of the window, as well as any additional work required for installation.

How long does a window take to change?

The time needed to change a window can vary depending on factors such as the type of window, its size, and the complexity of the installation. On average, it can take a few hours to complete the window replacement process.

How long does it take to replace a window unit?

The duration to replace a window unit can vary based on factors such as the type and size of the unit, as well as any additional work required. Typically, it can take several hours to complete the replacement process for a window unit.